Acupuncture in the military for rapid pain relief on the battlefield

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Public Release: 6-Apr-2016


Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

New Rochelle, NY, April 5, 2016–Integrative medicine (IM) is coming of age in the U.S. military, with the first example of widespread implementation of an IM technique being the popular use of acupuncture to treat pain in combat settings. The successful integration of this IM technique, its use by military medical acupuncturists, and implications for introducing other IM programs in the future are examined in an Editorial published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website until May 5, 2016.

Richard Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH, United States Air Force Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine Center, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Medical Acupuncture, led a team of coauthors from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (Bethesda, MD), Samueli Institute (Alexandria, VA), William Beaumont Army Medical Center (El Paso, TX), Shoreland, Inc. (Arlington, VA), Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC (Richmond, VA), Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor (Washington Navy Yard, DC), Pentagon Flight Medicine Clinic (Washington, DC), and Corporal Michael J. Crescent VA Medical Center (Philadelphia, PA) in developing the Editorial entitled “Integrative Medicine in the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs: Cautious Steps Forward.”

The authors describe the U.S. military’s implementation of the auricular Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA) technique in its Warrior Transition Unit clinics, which treat large numbers of soldiers injured in combat. They highlight the methods that contributed to the successful integration of BFA including strategies to introduce and encourage the use of acupuncture, administrative needs of the program, and data collection to assess outcomes. The model developed here and the lessons learned will be useful as the military explores additional IM techniques.

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force, the United States Army, the United States Navy, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.


About the Journal

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published online with open access options and in print. The Journal provides observational, clinical, and scientific reports and commentary intended to help healthcare professionals and scientists evaluate and integrate therapies into patient care protocols and research strategies. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Medical Acupuncture, and Journal of Medicinal Food. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Categories: Missed - Medical Breakthroughs

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